The Financial Services and Partnerships teams at City law firm Fox Williams have written market overviews for the Chambers UK Guide 2020. Both chapters give an insight into the current economic, legal and political trends affecting the sectors.
Fox Williams’ writing team for Partnerships included partners Daniel Sutherland, Douglas Preece and strategic consultant, Tina Williams. The chapter focuses on market conditions, the regulatory environment, mergers, law firm IPOs, personnel and AI and technology. Despite the economic storm clouds, professional service firms look set to achieve another year of solid growth. The UK’s top 100 law firms increased fee income by an average of 7% in 2018/19 and the first half of 2019 saw the UK legal industry hit record turnover. This chapter can be found here.
Partner Daniel Sutherland comments, “ A marker of the confidence of future prospects in the legal sector is the increasing number of staff being promoted to partner. In many firms the number of promotions are on a scale not seen since before the 2008 financial crisis.”
The Financial Services: Contentious Regulatory chapter sets out the key issues, including culture, governance and financial crime, that are likely to be facing clients and professional advisers in the coming year. Whatever the political and economic landscape, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will continue to pursue new and innovative approaches to regulation in 2019/2020, whether within its supervisory or enforcement approaches. The impact of political and economic uncertainty (including Brexit) on the financial services sector remains unclear at this stage. Notwithstanding this, the PRA and FCA remain enthusiastic about their proactive approach to market supervision. The full chapter can be found here.
Partner Peter Wright comments, “Financial services firms will need to review data security, cyber resilience and anti-money laundering systems and controls and to prepare for the implementation of the Senior Managers Regime in 2020.”